Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New on NewsReal - No, Bill Sammon Didn't Lie About Thinking Obama Was a Socialist (Which He Totally Is)

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

There’s only so much mileage the Left can get out of vehemently denying that President Barack Obama is a socialist. For best propagandistic results, it’s ideal to highlight people on the Right who allegedly admit the same thing (and if their remarks can be used to embarrass a hated cable news channel in the process, so much the better).

Case in point: relying upon Media Matters research, Howard Kurtz’s latest on the Daily Beast highlights recent remarks made by Fox News Channel’s Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon during a 2009 cruise hosted by Hillsdale College (my alma mater):
“Last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to ‘spread the wealth around.’ At that time, I have to admit that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched.”

That he did—on several occasions.

On Oct. 14, 2008, Sammon said on the air that Obama’s “spread the wealth” remark “is red meat when you’re talking to conservatives and you start talking about spread the wealth around. That is tantamount to socialism.”

On Oct. 21, he told Greta Van Susteren: “I have read Barack Obama’s books pretty carefully, and he in his own words talks about being drawn to Marxists… Now all this stuff’s coming out about whether he’s a socialist. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by it, because if you read his own words and his sort of, you know, orientation coming up as a liberal through college and a young man, it’s not a huge shock.”

Sammon, a former Washington Times reporter, also made sure his troops got out the word. On Oct. 27, he sent an email to staffers highlighting what he described as “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists” in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father.
Sammon’s response:
In an interview, Sammon says his reference to “mischevious speculation” was “my probably inartful way of saying, ‘Can you believe how far this thing has come?’” The socialism question indeed “struck me as a far-fetched idea” in 2008. “I considered it kind of a remarkable notion that we would even be having the conversation.” He doesn’t regret repeatedly raising it on the air because, Sammon says, “it was a main point of discussion on all the channels, in all the media”—and by 2009 he was “astonished by how the needle had moved.”


In defense of Sammon’s ethics, raising a subject on the air and speculating about it, even “mischievously,” aren’t the same as reaching or arguing for a firm conclusion about the subject. Indeed, if you watch the full clip the Oct. 14 quote comes from, Sammon’s not even arguing for the Obama-as-socialist charge—he’s just objectively analyzing 2008 rival John McCain’s strategic interest in pressing the issue.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New on NewsReal - John Avlon Trashes Minnesota to Paint Bachmann and Pawlenty as Wingnuts

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Not content to let Eric Alterman have all the fun of belittling Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Daily Beast writer John Avlon has joined the Bachmann bashing bandwagon, too.  The Beast’s resident “extremism” hand-wringer is taking a more roundabout approach, suggesting that Bachmann is symptomatic of a broader radicalization of Minnesota, for which she and Gov. Tim Pawlenty “are going to have to answer for”:
In recent weeks, the Republican-controlled state legislature has clashed with liberal Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. Among their headline grabbing and eyebrow-raising legislative efforts have included trying to ban all abortions in the state after 20 weeks and forbidding anyone on public assistance from withdrawing more than $20 cash per month.

The man Dayton narrowly defeated in an overwhelmingly Republican election year was conservative-populist-turned-lobbyist Tom Emmer, who backed a “Tenther” bill that would require a two-thirds state legislative vote to ratify any federal legislation and supported a state constitutional ban on gay marriage.
This isn’t the first time Avlon has had trouble grasping the fact that just because he disagrees with a particular position, it doesn’t automatically follow that the position is beyond the pale. It’s unreasonable to ban abortion well after unborn babies can feel pain? It’s extreme to do what thirty other states already do on marriage? As for the restriction on withdrawing money, Mark Meed debunked that canard on March 21, and while the idea of state supermajorities having to ratify all federal laws does strike me as both constitutionally and practically problematic, it hardly signifies a kook epidemic that a gubernatorial candidate would embrace a questionable solution to a real problem—federal overreach over states’ rights.

Avlon continues in a similar vein, listing examples of Minnesota Republicans either saying off-color things or appearing with others who have. The players in question deserve heat for some of it, while other scandals are almost certainly overblown; I’ll leave the final judgment to Minnesota politicos.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New on NewsReal - Michele Bachmann Considers Presidential Run, Eric Alterman Demands Media Not Notice

My latest NewsReal post:

Have you ever wondered how lefty talking head Eric Alterman can possibly argue that the media is biased to the right? Well, his latest column in the Daily Beast provides a pretty good window into his methodology—moving the goalposts so far that even covering certain conservative candidates is an act of journalistic malpractice.

Alterman spends most of the piece mocking Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) for a series of historical gaffes, suggesting that any presidential campaign by “an individual so obviously mentally and emotionally challenged” would be a hopeless “exercise in vanity and self-delusion,” which the press is only wasting its time by covering:
Michele Bachmann is “reportedly” ready to form a presidential exploratory committee in early June. Shame on me (and this website) for paying the slightest bit of attention to this foolish and ridiculous spectacle, but here we are […]

What does it say about our national media that this woman is considered a serious person? What is she doing being taken seriously on Meet the Press? Why in the world does ABC’s George Stephanopoulos think it important to find out whether she’s a fan—I kid you not—of Lady Gaga?
And how can any reporter expect anyone, anytime to take him or her seriously if they treat the “Bachmann for President” boomlet as anything but a symbol of a political system that has run itself off the rails of sanity?
If a history of stupid remarks disqualifies a politician from serious coverage, then how does Alterman explain the media’s slobbering love affair with Barack Obama, who’s got his own record of gaffes? Or maybe his running mate, Joe Biden?

To be sure, a candidate’s grasp of history is fair game for judging a would-be president, but the task of journalists is to judge who is running, not who should run. And like Bachmann or not, her potential bid for the presidency is a legitimate story, and she can’t be ignored.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

At the Risk of Ticking Off Some of My Fellow Right-Wingers...

...check out this quote from Abraham Lincoln, which encapsulates a tendency among libertarian/paleocon circles that I've always found off base:
What is the particular sacredness of a State? I speak not of that position which is given to a State in and by the Constitution of the United States, for that all of us agree to---we abide by; but that position assumed, that a State can carry with it out of the Union that which it holds in sacredness by virtue of its connection with the Union. I am speaking of that assumed right of a State, as a primary principle, that the Constitution should rule all that is less than itself, and ruin all that is bigger than itself. But, I ask, wherein does consist that right? If a State, in one instance, and a county in another, should be equal in extent of territory, and equal in the number of people, wherein is that State any better than the county? Can a change of name change the right? By what principle of original right is it that one-fiftieth or one-ninetieth of a great nation, by calling themselves a State, have the right to break up and ruin that nation as a matter of original principle? Now, I ask the question---I am not deciding anything---and with the request that you will think somewhat upon that subject and decide for yourselves, if you choose, when you get ready,---where is the mysterious, original right, from principle, for a certain district of country with inhabitants, by merely being called a State, to play tyrant over all its own citizens, and deny the authority of everything greater than itself.

New on NewsReal - Ex-Carter Official Blames Neocons for "Trapping" Obama Into Acting in Libya

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The Left has a problem. Attacking countries that haven’t attacked us first is a major no-no, but the president who’s initiated the latest campaign in Libya, Barack Obama, is their standard-bearer, not a warmongering right-winger. What to do?

On the Daily Beast, Leslie Gelb, Assistant Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter, has an analysis of the situation which liberals eager to give Obama cover might find useful: the neocons made him do it!
Neocons and liberal interventionists stampeded Obama into imposing a no-fly zone against Libya—despite the absence of vital U.S. interests there […]

The manufactured crisis in Libya is a prime case in point. No foreign states have vital interests at stake in Libya. Events in this rather odd and isolated land have little bearing on the rest of the tumultuous Mideast region. Also not to be dismissed, there are far, far worse humanitarian horrors elsewhere. Yet, U.S. neoconservatives and liberal humanitarian interventionists have trapped another U.S. president into acting as if the opposite were true.
Obama’s been “trapped” into ordering airstrikes? How?
Once this terrible duo starts tossing out words like “slaughter” and “genocide,” the media goes crazy. Then, the chorus begins to sing of heartless inaction by the U.S. president, blaming him for the deaths. White House common sense crumbles into insanity. The reason why neither President Obama nor his coalition partners in Britain and France can state a coherent goal for Libya is that none of them have any central interest in the outcome there. It is only when a nation has a clear vital interest that it can state a clear objective for war. They’ve all simply been carried away by their own rhetoric.

The drama usually starts when leaders and thinkers are seduced by the feeling they must do good. Sometimes, they essentially ignore the killings, even as deaths climb into the hundreds of thousands, as in Rwanda and millions as in Congo. Other times, the deaths number in the hundreds or so, as in Libya—and the guy doing the killing is someone they have good reason to dislike, and so they want to do good and stop him. It was just so with the irresistible trio of Senators—John McCain, John Kerry, and Lindsey Graham—and with their counterparts in foreign-policy land.
And just like that, interventionists insist there’s “no time to deliberate,” and the president helplessly complies with their calls to arms.

There are a couple problems with this theory, though. First, polls show that, on the whole, Americans approve of the action now that we’re in it, but their support is far from overwhelming. On Capitol Hill and among the Tea Party, the battle lines are similarly muddied, with politicians of Obama’s own party blasting him for intervening while his sworn enemies in the Tea Party are more open to the idea. So if Obama really thought getting involved was a bad move for the United States, there’s certainly enough political cover for him to withstand interventionist condemnation for staying out.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya: Do Conservatives Have a Double Standard for Military Intervention?

I’m of two minds on the subject of the United States’ current air strikes in Libya. On the one hand, I do not believe that humanitarian impulses are a sufficient justification for US military action, but on the other hand I am open to the argument that Muammar Qadhafi’s past support for anti-American terrorism and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction constitute a sufficient interest for American intervention.

Whatever the answer is, two things are clear—the nation is ill served by President Barack Obama’s inability to clearly explain our objectives, and the Right is ill served by foreign policy analysis informed more by the party affiliation of the current commander-in-chief than by coherent principles.

Watching Sean Hannity this week, I can’t help but fear the former is at work. On March 6, Hannity said:
It seems to me that it becomes a no-brainer. In other words, look, here we have a mass slaughter of people going on, and we have military jets bombing innocent civilians. The country is going down the tubes. And Qaddafi obviously has to go. And the U.S. doesn’t have the moral authority to lead and it is hesitant and it’s slow to react? I’m having a hard time understanding why?
Compare that with his words on March 21:
The president said in Rio, you know, we are going to make the world safe from tyrants. Are we going to Sudan? Are we going after Mugabe? Are we going to go in Bahrain, Yemen? Are we going to insert ourselves in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia? Are we going to insert ourselves in Saudi Arabia? I mean, what is — how do we define success here? What is our mission here? And what is the new Obama standard here?
When — I don’t know what to make of this. Is this now the Obama doctrine? That if there is a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place and the international community is onboard, that we can’t standby with empty words, we have to take some action. Does that apply to Mugabe, Sudan, taking him out? Does that apply to, you know, Syria, Lebanon? You know, where do we take this? Is it Bahrain? Saudi Arabia? What does that mean?
So when Libyans were getting killed while Obama seemed distracted by basketball, it was a “no-brainer” that the US had to take action to stop the carnage, and Hannity had “a hard time understanding why” the White House was “hesitant” and “slow to react.” But now that Obama has taken action to stop the carnage, Hannity doesn’t “know what to make of this,” and fears that doing what he wanted done on March 6 (and what President George W. Bush set forth as one of the guiding principles of his foreign policy) might mean biting off far more than we can chew.

If that fear sounds familiar, that’s because it was one of the prominent arguments against the Iraq War, which Hannity supported. Now, I supported (and still support) the Iraq War too, because it was clearly justified on national security grounds, but recall that Hannity’s chief rebuttal to that conflict’s critics was strictly humanitarian:
If you guys had your way, the torture chambers and mass graves would continue […] Your way would appease evil.
Yes, but as 2011 Hannity inadvertently explains to 2005 Hannity, the same could be said of any number of regimes, and if the standard for force is simply the subjugation of a despot’s citizens, then the United States has a lot of catching up to do. This doesn’t make either Hannity wrong (nor does it make Obama right), but it does call into question the reliability of his analysis.

Former House Speaker and possible presidential contender Newt Gingrich's reversal is even more blatant:
March 7: The United States doesn’t need anybody’s permission. We don’t need to have NATO, who frankly, won’t bring much to the fight. We don’t need to have the United Nations. All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening. And we don’t have to send troops. All we have to do is suppress his air force, which we could do in minutes.

March 23: I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.
The good news is that other conservatives are taking a less knee-jerk approach, instead assessing the conflict based on values, not partisanship:
[T]he relative lack of Tea Party angst over the no-fly zone has been surprising. There is no discussion of Libya happening at Ginni Thomas’ Liberty Central, no statement from Tea Party Patriots or the Tea Party Express.

Quite a few liberal Democrats have come out and criticized the president. There were more Democrats who criticized President George W. Bush during the run-up to Iraq, but there have been enough to generate real heat for the White House. It was Kucinich, rather than a Republican, who first floated the idea that the strikes on Libya might be grounds for impeachment; Newt Gingrich, who mused that Obama could be impeached for failing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, hasn’t gone that far. Half a dozen Republicans who identify with the Tea Party have criticized the Obama administration’s shoot-first-ask-Congress-later approach, but most Republicans haven’t […]

There could be more Tea Party criticism of the Libya strategy if the conflict drags on. On Monday, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots told me that the group may poll members to determine whether they should take a stance. If CNN’s poll on Libya is right, TPP might find itself taking the pro-Obama, anti-Ron Paul line on Libya. The poll, conducted from March 18 to March 20, found 70 percent of all voters favoring a no-fly zone. Among “Tea Party supporters,” it was 73 percent. Fifty-four percent of all voters favored attacks “directly targeted at Gaddafi’s troops who are fighting the opposition forces in Libya.” That number rose to 58 percent among Tea Partiers.

There are individual Tea Party leaders, like Williams or Rand Paul, who wince at a military intervention undertaken like this. The Tea Party is libertarian in plenty of ways. But if it has one defining characteristic, it’s that it’s nationalist. If there’s a way to remove Qaddafi decades after he aided the Lockerbie bombers, then that’s more important than a debate over the deep thoughts of the founders. In a Saturday interview with Fox News, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., one of the most popular politicians to win the support of the Tea Party, explained that his problem with the intervention was about grit, not the Constitution.

“Back two or three weeks ago,” said West, “we could have taken care of this situation if we had done the exact same thing that Ronald Reagan did back in the early ’80s to Muammar Gaddafi, when he dropped the bomb in his back yard. Muammar Gaddafi didn’t say a word for the next 30 years.”
(See here and here for more on Tea Partiers' view of Libya.) 

In all areas, conservatism demands an allegiance to principle regardless of our affection or disdain for the people and parties involved, and nowhere is that consistency more vital than in matters of war and peace. Heaven knows there’s much to criticize in the way Obama has handled this conflict even beyond his lack of clarity, but conservative critiques won’t do much good without clarity in our own motives.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New on NewsReal - Sarah Palin Visits Israel. What's In It For Her?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is in Israel right now, which for some reason is perplexing to some in the chattering class back home. Taking the most cynical approach, Newsweek Jerusalem bureau chief Dan Ephron takes to the Daily Beast to explore what Palin might stand to gain politically from the visit:
For the former Alaska governor, the trip offers a chance to distinguish herself as more pro-Israel than other American politicians and, perhaps, to make amends for her “blood libel” gaffe in January that angered many Jews. Palin has already pointed out that President Obama has yet to visit Israel during more than two years in office. At a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she was expected to distance herself from the position of some fellow Tea Partiers—chiefly Congressman Rand Paul—in favor of cutting aid to Israel.
Leftists and left-wing groups which claim to speak for Jews complained about the “blood libel” nonsense at the time, but a.) that doesn’t necessarily translate to “many Jews,” and b.) I doubt Palin took that line of attack too seriously, considering the frequency with which both sides have used the term in the past. Attempting to compare favorably to Obama’s inattentiveness (and worse) to Israel is more likely, as is the idea that she’s distancing herself from Paul’s stances on that front, especially considering that she supported him.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Around the Web

Tim Pawlenty is set to make his presidential bid official today. Yawn.

JB Van Hollen comes out against the lawless decision of Judge Maryann Sumi to block the budget repair bill, and Charlie Sykes has the scoop on Sumi's conflict of interest regarding unions.

On federal spending and government shutdowns, Russ Vought makes the case for drawing a line in the sand.

Mark Levin has an excellent comparison of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush's conservative credentials.

More union thuggery here and here.

And it turns out that Mitch Daniels is even worse than you (and I) thought.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New on NewsReal - Hannity Calls Out "Partisan Hack" Weiner for Bush-Bashing Defense of Obamanomics

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

You want a surefire way to cause a cable news stir? Just pit old foes like Sean Hannity and Rep. Anthony Weiner against each other, throw in Rep. Michele Bachmann for good measure, and voila! The battle gets picked up by everyone from Mediaite and The Blaze to News Hounds and the Huffington Post.

Last night’s topic of debate was the United States’ current financial mess:
HANNITY: All right, Congressman, here’s why we are in this position. This is just a fact. You had both Houses of Congress last year — run by the Democrats. You had White House. You guys didn’t pass a budget. It is your responsibility. You should have passed the budget. You didn’t pass a budget. Now we find ourselves at this impasse.

All the Democrats are offering — it’s $4.5 billion in cuts. We have a $1.65 trillion deficit this year, after nearly three trillion of Obama debt in his first two years. And we also have, you know, $3.7 trillion budget.

You can’t find more than $4.5 billion to cut?

WEINER: Well, frankly, let’s get the history right. The Bush administration drove the economy into a cliff and we’ve been digging out ever since.

HANNITY: Blah, blah, blah.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: Well, let me answer the question. It’s true we also did add a trillion dollars of additional debt and deficit by giving tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires — something many of us opposed. But the fact is, if you look at the president’s budget –
Once again, Bush Derangement Syndrome rears its ugly head. We’re in Barack Obama’s third year as president; it’s remarkable that Democrats still don’t feel embarrassed to lay the blame for all of America’s woes, including the Obama job losses, at the feet of his predecessor. If you still think Obama has little to do with all the red ink we’re drowning in, check out this post at Maggie’s Notebook, which highlights a couple unnerving analyses of Obama’s fiscal policies. They point out that Obama’s gotten credit for the repayment of TARP loans that should go to Bush, and that “the latest Obama budget is his third straight budget calling for over a $1 trillion in spending – which no other president has ever done, and in fact no president has even asked for half that. And get this: Anderson says Obama’s three year spending binge is 37% higher than G.W.’s ENTIRE 8-YEAR PRESIDENCY.” (I’ve tackled Obama’s drunken-sailor ways before here.)

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New on NewsReal - Shock: Media Matters Catches Political Talker Talking Politics

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Discussing perceived political angles to tragedies, especially as they’re happening, is always touchy. Even if there is a valid policy observation to be made, you’re opening yourself up to ready-made accusations of insensitivity, partisanship, and opportunism. So it should come as little surprise that the leftist smear merchants at Media Matters are raking Sean Hannity over the coals for a “five-minute Obama-bashing session” during his coverage of the disaster in Japan:

HANNITY: Apparently, the president was groggy when he answered that call, because on Saturday, hours after the quake struck, he went golfing. And later that evening he attended a dinner with members of the mainstream Obama-mania media. And today, the president spent his afternoon filling out his NCAA brackets for ESPN [...]

DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He probably feels like if he would succumb to all the pressure, to comment on everything, he wouldn’t have time even to go to the bathroom. But what surprises me is –

HANNITY: You mean he wouldn’t have time to shoot hoops?

PERINO: Well — shoot hoops, play golf — but the other thing is, remember, from the communication standpoint what they’ve done. Today, he did three interviews, with regional news outlets in key battle ground states for 2012. I mean, they are starting very, very early. He still has yet I believe to do an interview with NHK which is the main news outlet for Japan. How reassuring it would be for the Japanese to hear from the president right now.

Another communications points, Steve, is in January, when Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot, that morning President Obama put out a photograph from him in the White House situation room, even after we knew it was lone gunman, I mean, the situation room?

And then Saturday, their only communications was a radio address on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which had obviously been taped days before and they’re not going to change it, and his video of him playing golf.
On the one hand, I don’t want to see conservatives taking this line of attack too far. As we’ve discussed before, presidents are never really off-duty. And while it certainly doesn’t speak well of Obama’s PR team that nobody thought the president’s current schedule of sports, photo ops, and vacations would look improper when juxtaposed against foreign deaths and devastation, the fact is that there’s just not much for the President of the United States’ to do about overseas natural disasters.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Governor Walker, Please Reconsider

Not your policies - on the merits, you've been great so far. But I beg you to reconsider what you recently told National Review Online:
Walker, to be sure, has every intention of pursuing all elements of his muscular budget proposal in coming weeks. Yet the key for him, he says, is making Democrats realize that he is not looking to make enemies with them, regardless of how angry they are about the budget-repair bill. “[The budget-repair bill] was not about getting a political victory,” he says. “It was about getting our economy on track. It’s time to move forward.”
This is exactly the wrong way to react to what's transpired - the lies, the venom, the shameless attempt to grind the democratic process to a halt - over the past month. Above all, any Republican leader who wants to get meaningful results has to recognize one critical truth: regardless of whether or not you're "looking to make enemies with them," the Democrats are always looking to make enemies with you. No matter what you do, the Democratic Party is your enemy, because that's what they've chosen to be. They're operating on a fundamentally incompatible set of first principles and partisan interests. No amount of olive branches or appeasement will soften their ideology or their treachery, but will just result in needless concessions from us and leave our opponents convinced that their tactics work. Failure to recognize this fact always kills Republicans.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New on NewsReal - Peter Beinart Spins Walker's Conservative Victory as a Boon for Obama

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

If it’s a day ending in “y,” that means it’s time for more crappy political advice from the Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart. Beinart’s kind of a one-trick pony on the subject—I’ve noted before how, no matter the situation, he advises Republicans not to govern like conservatives lest they face certain electoral doom (the right electoral strategy, coincidentally, happens to be to govern exactly like Peter Beinart would). Today, he argues that the Wisconsin GOP’s victory over public-sector unions will ultimately ensure a second term for Barack Obama:
In 2010, Republicans successfully accused Obama of abetting the extremism of Nancy Pelosi. In 2012, Obama will ask Americans if they want a president who abets the extremism of Scott Walker. By so successfully shifting the ideological debate to the right, Republicans have reframed Obama as a man of the center. And by terrifying liberals, they are helping ensure that Obama gets the large Democratic base turnout he needs […]

The 2012 Republican nominee will likely face the same problem. Embracing Scott Walker will alienate independents; rejecting him will alienate the conservative base. Parties usually win elections when their partisans are pragmatic enough to nominate candidates with crossover appeal but desperate enough to turn out for them nonetheless. Today’s GOP isn’t that kind of party. The Democrats, especially after last November, are.
There are two major problems with Beinart’s analysis. First, if one’s stance on public-sector unions is to be our new barometer for “extremism,” comparing Obama and Walker is hardly an open-and-shut case, even on the Left’s own terms—consider that government employees at the federal level can’t collectively bargain over wages or benefits, whereas Walker’s bill still allows some bargaining over wages. Assuming the GOP’s next presidential nominee isn’t totally asleep at the switch (which, admittedly, isn’t all that safe an assumption), he or she will challenge Obama on that very point.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

And Now, A Special Message from a Former Classmate (NSFW) - UPDATED: Impostor?

UPDATE: Another set of comments on that thread has appeared, also under my classmate's name, claiming the below comments were left by someone else. On the one hand, both show different email addresses and IP's; on the other hand, I have no idea who else it could have been. On the chance it really is someone else, I've chosen to delete his name from the below post, and remove the offending comments from the original link.

ORIGINAL POST: The other day, a former classmate of mine from Fond du Lac High School interjected himself into an exchange between a couple friends of mine on my Facebook wall, first with a jab at one friend (admittedly a mild one, but a jab nonetheless), then by throwing out a lot of irrelevant jargon that was meant to muddy the water and obscure the entirely obvious, valid point my friend was making.

The exchange wasn't terribly significant, but it did persuade me that someone who I know to be a smug, angry, petulant left-winger, wasn't the sort of person I wanted to waste time with anymore, or the sort I wanted to have access to my private Facebook wall. So I de-friended him.

This morning, I woke up to discover he had placed a couple of comments on my old blog in retaliation. They're rather vulgar, so you'll have to click below the fold to read them:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"I hope you're embarassed to call yourselves sentaors."

In commenting on the return of Wisconsin's 14 runaway Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald strikes exactly the right tone:
Today, the most shameful 14 people in the state of Wisconsin are going to pat themselves on the back and smile for the cameras. They're going to pretend they're heroes for taking a three-week vacation [...] To the Senate Democrats: when you smile for the cameras today and pretend you're heroes, I hope you look at that beautiful Capitol building you insulted. And I hope you're embarrassed to call yourselves senators.
This is the tone Governor Scott Walker should emulate going forward. Republicans invariably turn out to be their own worst enemies by failing to treat disgraceful conduct as disgraceful.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New at NewsReal - No Islamophobia Epidemic Here: The Surprising Truth About Hate Crimes in America

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Rep. Peter King’s announced congressional hearings on Muslim extremism have brought on a tidal wave of condemnation of the level to which America allegedly embraces anti-Islamic bigotry, so it’s important to take a look at how American Muslims are really treated in this country.

We’ve noted before how polling data indicates that the American people don’t consider most Muslims to be terrorism supporters and FBI numbers show that Muslims actually comprise a very small share of the nation’s annual hate crime victims. And yesterday, the Center for Security Policy released a new report on religiously motivated hate crimes between 2000 and 2009, which “contradicts the false assertions that hate crimes against Muslims have increased, and that the alleged cause is widespread Islamophobia in America.” CSP president Frank Gaffney says:
This report is important because it exposes a false belief perpetuated by a few vocal groups that religious bias crimes against Muslims are on the upswing.  The truth is quite the opposite.  These arguments, unsubstantiated by hard factual data, are corrosive to community relationships at every level of American society, and a potential threat to national security.
First, the report’s summary chart [download here] shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans are peaceful to members of all faiths. There were a total of 6,319 anti-religious hate crimes perpetrated against Americans of all faiths in the last decade. As despicable as every single act was, that number is well within the range we should expect in a free society of over 300 million people (consider that in 2008 alone there were 16,272 murders, 89,000 rapes, and 441,855 robberies). Neither Jews, Christians nor Muslims are suffering any kind of hate-crime epidemic.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Around the Web

With collective bargaining reform passed, Scott Walker has called off the layoff notices.

If you know anything about the whereabouts of Marizela Perez, please share.

A roundup of on-site reporting of the chaotic takeover of the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Jill Stanek takes a look at the polling data and asks just how controversial being pro-life really is.

At NewsReal, Lisa Graas draws attention to pro-liberty Muslims the media doesn't want you to know about.

The Booze Parallel to Big Government

From Patrick McIlheran:
You want the booze parallel? It’s that conservatives grasp the difference between having a beer in the backyard and getting face-in-the-toilet drunk. The left’s attitude toward government, by contrast, is that if one vodka-and-tonic is good ... hey, can we get this stuff in two-liter bottles? And get that guy in a suit to pay for it?

Gurda does not grasp that conservatives have been saying for years -- really loudly these past two -- that there is a logical stopping point when shrinking government, and that is the outline put forth in the constitution. This is perhaps because liberals, and Gurda I gather is one, do not admit to any logical stopping point in the other direction. If some government is good, more is better -- always. They think the constitution allows so little government, it amounts to “civic suicide,” as Gurda puts it. But what, then, is the upper limit?

Not that we’d reach it. Recall what started all this: Unions weren’t demanding that the governor offer more schooling or parks. To the contrary, Walker said, repeatedly, that he wants to preserve schools, parks, aid for the poor and so on even as the state copes with a $3.5 billion deficit, and the only way to do that in a state that’s already the fourth-hardest taxed in the country is to get the same amount of labor at a more reasonable cost. Walker suggested unions’ absurd benefits take a haircut and the mechanism that permitted the absurdity to begin with, collective bargaining, be reined in.

That’s what this is about. It’s not about nicer education or better services but about unions holding on to their power. Education and services will be much costlier to provide, if they have their way. Which, if you think about it, is the modern approach to prohibition: add taxes to jack up the cost to the point no one can afford much -- what? tobacco? gas? booze? You name it, but it’s a lot more subtle than axing rum barrels.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New on NewsReal - Astro-Turfed Talk Radio? Hannity, Limbaugh & Beck Accused of Faking Callers

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Not content to belittle conservative talk show hosts as merely greedy or hateful, leftists have seized upon a recent report in Tablet Magazine to cast them as liars who are scamming their own audiences, as well. The piece reveals a service offered by radio syndicate Premiere Radio, which offers to supply hosts with fake callers, the insinuation being that the next time you hear an enthusiastic fan sing Glenn Beck’s praises, or an idiotic liberal effortlessly dispatched by Sean Hannity, the whole thing might be artificial:
“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.”
Gustav Wynn at the left-wing OpEdNews.com reports that the Big Three—Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck—have all unequivocally denied that they’ve ever had actors call their shows, but he’s pretty sure that something fishy is afoot anyway:
Limbaugh sharply rebuked the suggestion, decrying media coverage of the article and denying he had ever used actors on his show as he tried to dissociate himself from the service and any possibility that he staged calls. One could even witness his brain switch gears as he begins to ask his own call screener if he was in on it. This demonstrates how quickly Rush would attempt to insulate himself should it be uncovered someone else was assigning actors to call his show, perhaps in “common purpose”.

So merely by defending himself, Limbaugh implies he’s got something to hide. Why? He just does. After all, he’s Rush Limbaugh.

Next, about 2:06 into the clip he says “over the years” people have “come to him with ideas” to “get in the act” but he “shot it down”. Okay, is this shades of Governor Walker? Who in Rush’s circle of prospective collaborators came to him with these ideas? We don’t know. He didn’t say, protecting their identities from the very listeners he was trying to assuage.
Cheap shot at the Scott Walker-Koch brothers non-story aside, let me remind Mr. Wynn that we don’t subpoena people every time we get a whiff that somebody may have approached them with a bad idea in private.  If we did, we’d never have time to go after real impropriety.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Union Label: Let the Buyer Beware

Scott Walker's detractors are just trying to protect teachers, right?

Wrong:
[I]n June 2010, long before Scott Walker was elected, Milwaukee Public Schools fired 482 teachers--including Megan Sampson, a young educator named an "outstanding first year teacher" by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English.

Sampson and 481 other teachers were laid off for two reasons having to do with collective bargaining: First, the collective bargaining agreement allowed the teachers' union to choose between small reductions in health care benefits and layoffs. "Given the opportunity, of course I would switch to a different [health care] plan to save my job, or the jobs of 10 other teachers," Sampson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The teachers' union felt differently. It chose layoffs. 

Second, the collective bargaining agreement guaranteed that teachers would be laid off on the basis of seniority rather than merit (or lack thereof). Therefore, Sampson, and likely a lot of other promising young educators got the axe, while the rest of the teachers, good and bad alike, were protected simply by the amount of time they'd put in.
And "for the children"? That's crap, too:
A 2004 study by Hofstra University scholar Charol Shakeshaft on the sexual misconduct of public school teachers is a shocking wake-up call that was widely ignored by the public union-friendly press. And even worse, the public teachers unions protected many of the offending teachers and allowed them to quietly transfer to other schools where they victimized more children. “Examples include touching breasts or genitals of students; oral, anal, and vaginal penetration; showing students pictures of a sexual nature; and sexually-related conversations, jokes, or questions directed at students.”

Everyone agrees that the sex scandal in the Catholic Church is a tragedy of immense proportions and the media has done a good job at uncovering the network of cover-ups and lies that harmed children irreparably. But what would you say if I told you that the public school system, which is about the same size as the Catholic Church in America with a school in every parish, has more sexual abuse cases in ten years than the Catholic Church has had in fifty?

Monday, March 7, 2011

New on NewsReal - Peter Beinart Recycles Trash Talk of Republicans as Islamophobes

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The nice thing about being on the Left is that your arguments never become stale. Regardless of what the facts say, whether or not a claim has been soundly refuted in the public arena, or how many times you’ve said it, you can always recycle the same smears. Today’s recycler is Peter Beinart, who takes to the Daily Beast to bemoan the Republican Party’s descent into bigotry:

I once ate a Shabbat meal in Salt Lake City, where my hosts—staunch Republicans and Orthodox Jews—talked with wonder about the extreme courtesy with which their Mormon neighbors accommodated their religious needs. Conservatives, they explained, were actually more tolerant of minority faiths than liberals. I’d like to believe that a Muslim family in Utah or Alabama could say the same today. In a sense, the Republican Party’s honor depends on it.
My, that does sound serious! Whatever could have been the catalyst for this clarion call?
[Rep. Peter] King, a Long Island Republican, will hold hearings this week on terrorism by American Muslims. Think about that for a second. King isn’t holding hearings on domestic terrorism; he’s holding hearings on domestic terrorism by one religious group.

Yes, think about that for a second—and you’ll apparently have reflected on the issue more than Peter Beinart. As Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney explains, one of the reasons King’s hearings are so important is that they present the opportunity to “explore the extent to which virtually every prominent group that purports to speak for that community is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood or sympathetic to its agenda.” And if you know anything about the Brotherhood or other Islamist organizations, you know this is hardly an answer in search of a problem. Gaffney makes the following point:
[C]onfusion about the true nature and intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood is much in evidence at the moment.  The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, contributed to it, first by testifying last month that the Brotherhood is “a largely secular organization.”  He subsequently recanted that preposterous characteri­zation, but nonetheless downplayed concerns about the group by insisting that it is “heterogeneous,” has “eschewed violence” and is engaged in good works, like hospitals and day care.

Such contentions are, presumably, contributing to the Obama administration’s intention – as reported on the front page of the Washington Post last Friday – to establish relations with Muslim Brotherhood-dominated or other Islamist governments emerging from the revolutions sweeping the Middle East.  The implications of that decision would be incalculably problematic for our homeland security, as well as our foreign policy interests.
Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New at NewsReal - Personal Income As a "National Resource": A Look at Michael Moore's Brave New Collectivist World

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Sure, we’re all a little spooked about the huge debt our government is accumulating, but everybody can relax now; our favorite anti-American, far-left propagandist, Michael Moore, has the solution. Admittedly, it’ll take some minor changes in the way we think about wealth, which some of you might like, but you’ll get used to it—after all, you’re not greedy, are you?

Moore recently had this to say about the rich:
“They’re sitting on the money, they’re using it for their own — they’re putting it someplace else with no interest in helping you with your life, with that money. We’ve allowed them to take that. That’s not theirs, that’s a national resource, that’s ours. We all have this — we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it,” Michael Moore told Laura Flanders of GRITtv.
“I think we need to go back to taxing these people at the proper rates. They need to — we need to see these jobs as something we some, that we collectively own as Americans and you can’t just steal our jobs and take them someplace else,” Moore concluded.
Much has been made about how Moore himself won’t return his own generous share of this “national resource,” but even if he were more magnanimous, his argument wouldn’t be any less outrageous. For one thing, it ignores the fact that the rich already pay a disproportionately high share of the tax burden individually, and US corporate taxes are among the highest in the world, too. For another, we’ve run this experiment several times in American history, and the verdict is in: if you want to raise government revenue and increase prosperity for all Americans, then the direction you want taxes to go is down, not up. As a businessman, you’d think Moore would understand that when businessmen pursue their own interests, it actually does tend to have the effect of “helping you with your life, with that money,” by creating new jobs for the purpose of creating goods and service that people want.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Generation Y Conservatism: The Answer

A couple years ago, I was asked:
As those of us from Generation Y (born from the late '70s through the mid '90s) are beginning to emerge into the political culture it's time to start the discussion: what will be our role in helping articulate Conservatism? What distinguishes those of us in Generation Y from generations past?
My answer, in a nutshell, was that if conservative principles are true, then they are true for every generation:
We Generation Y Conservatives are the inheritors of an incredible moral & intellectual legacy, and our task is not to remake conservatism in our image, but to faithfully pass it down to the next generation and proclaim its timelessness.
I was reminded of that exchange this morning as I came across this post at Generations for Life:
As teenagers, college students, and young adults under 38, are we fully aware that we are survivors of a genocide that has killed 1/4 of our peers?

Even at an amazingly Catholic school like Franciscan University of Steubenville, peoples’ lives are affected by abortion. There are students here who have stories of how their biological mother considered abortion, but instead placed them up for adoption. There are also students who have siblings who were aborted.

What does it mean to us that our generation is missing a quarter of its members? The people that could have been our classmates, co-workers, and neighbors were never given the fundamental chance to live that we take for granted. 
This. This is the fundamental calling of so-called Generation Y Conservatism.

In Defense of Scott Walker: Setting the Record Straight on Wisconsin, Education, and Unions (UPDATED)

After some behind-the-scenes wrangling, a condensed, 300-word version of my editorial on Scott Walker's fight with Big Union is slated to appear in the Fond du Lac Reporter on Sunday (UPDATE: here it is). Here's the original, extended cut.

As I watch the battle over Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to alleviate Wisconsin’s projected $3.6 billion deficit, it pains me to see old friends and former classmates from Fond du Lac High School misled by the lies and fear-mongering of people who don’t have their best interests at heart. Some of it—like comparing Walker to dictators like Adolf Hitler and Hosni Mubarak—is merely the infantile ranting of hate-filled, ignorant partisans, but others are sincerely worried about the future of education in Wisconsin. My friends, please read on as I try to set the record straight.

Accusing Walker of “attacking” state workers is patently absurd. On February 20th, the non-partisan PolitiFact.com reported, “no matter how you slice it, the 12.6 percent share of health care premiums that Walker proposes employees pay is well below what most pay in the private - and public sectors,” and explained how "experts say they will be better of" on pensions, as well.

As most Americans suffer alongside the nation’s economic woes, government workers’ compensation remains relatively constant. Throw in nigh-impenetrable job security and retirement at 55, and the public sector compares quite favorably to the private - and will continue to do so under Scott Walker.

In fact, it's hard to seriously call Walker anti-teacher when he's standing up for teachers' rights of conscience and free association, by proposing that they be given the right to choose whether or not to pay union dues. Not only would this return hundreds of dollars annually to our teachers, but it would also let them decide whether they want their money going to political causes that have nothing to do with education - the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers both donate millions to Democrat candidates and radical left-wing causes and smear groups, including Planned Parenthood, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Action Network, ACORN, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition, Al Sharpton's National Action Network, People for the American Way, and Media Matters.

Thomas Jefferson called forcing people to “furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors” “sinful and tyrannical.” Why force teachers to take sides or donate to any political cause just to do the job they love? (Or are only far-left Democrats welcome to teach in Wisconsin?)

As for the worry that unions can’t survive without coercion, that’s freedom. If they’ve earned their members’ confidence, they’ll persevere. If not, they’ll fall. Think about it - if unions need the force of law to coerce their own members to support them, isn't that all the evidence we need that the unions aren't as valuable or as noble as they claim?

Not only is this more moral, it’s smarter economically, too—Investor’s Business Daily reports on the link between prosperity and the right to work:
According to statistics compiled by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, real personal income in right-to-work states grew 28.3% from 1999 to 2009 vs. 14.7% in forced-unionism states — almost double. Disposable income in right-to-work states stood at $35,543 per capita in 2009 vs. $33,389, and growth in real manufacturing GDP jumped 20.9% from 2000 to 2008, compared with 6.5% in forced-unionism states.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, right-to-work states added 1.5 million private-sector jobs from 1999 to 2009 for a 3.7% increase; states that are not right-to-work lost 1.8 million jobs over the same decade, a decline of 2.3%.
Workers’ actual rights are safe—as Walker points out, legal protections like merit hiring and just cause for discipline and termination come from the Civil Service Act of 1905, which he’s not touching. The only “right” at stake is collective bargaining. But understanding how unions work exposes public-sector collective bargaining as a bad idea that needs to go.

In private-sector bargaining, there are two sides: labor unions and corporate management. Everyone has a seat at the table and both sides are vulnerable to market forces and free to risk taking their business elsewhere if they can’t reach an agreement. But public-sector bargaining often ill-serves taxpayers—there’s no competition, it enables unions to coerce concessions from government without regard for the public good, and unions are often negotiating with politicians they’ve bought and paid for. Government has much more latitude to make unsustainable promises today and let someone else worry about paying for them tomorrow. There’s a reason even FDR said collective bargaining “cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

Because most public school curricula don’t teach the fundamentals of economics or political science (instead teaching liberal propaganda and, since 2009, even legally-mandated pro-union propaganda), their students are susceptible to such union propaganda campaigns. My friends, you’ve been betrayed. Your compassion has been exploited by union bosses and politicians who want to scare you into action not to defend Wisconsin's teachers, but to preserve their own power and influence.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: In the 300-word version, I place the number teachers would get back from collective bargaining at over $700. I got this figure from this document on WEAC's website. But looking over it again for this blog post, I saw that the site has other documents that place the number lower, apparently depending on county or locality. I apologize for the error.

UPDATE 2 (3/31/11): I've updated the union dues hyperlink again to provide a more comprehensive source.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New on NewsReal - Feminist Writer Tries to Put Natalie Portman in Her Place

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The last time NewsRealBlog checked in on Natalie Portman, the actress was selling some new, decidedly-PC ideas about sex and love. But since her appearance at the Academy Awards accepting the Best Actress award for Black Swan, Portman has found herself on the other side of the feminist divide. LifeNews.com reports that part of her speech didn’t sit well with everyone:
After thanking fellow nominees, her parents, and the directors past and present who guided her career, Portman saved her concluding praise for “my beautiful love,” dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

Then, as if to underscore how the bright and promising career and the accolades she’s received up to that very moment paled in comparison, a visibly pregnant Portman thanked Millepied for giving her “the most important role of my life.”
The problem, according to Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams:
“At the time, the comment jarred me, as it does every time anyone refers to motherhood as the most important thing a woman can possibly do,” she wrote today. “But the reason why didn’t hit until I saw the ever razor sharp Lizzie Skurnick comment on Twitter today that, ‘Like, my garbageman could give you your greatest role in life, too, lady.’”

“When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, there are a lot of amazed and awed moments in between the heartburn and insomnia. But is motherhood really a greater role than being secretary of state or a justice on the Supreme Court? Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?” Williams wondered […]

“Why, at the pinnacle of one’s professional career, would a person feel the need to undercut it by announcing that there’s something else even more important? Even if you feel that way, why downplay your achievement?” a clearly befuddled Williams writes.

“Why compare the two, as if a grueling acting role and being a parent were somehow in competition? And remind me — when was the last time a male star gave an acceptance speech calling fatherhood his biggest role?
Yes, how dare Portman celebrate bringing a child into the world? Doesn’t she realize that ignorant political lectures are the only non-industry topics allowed by Hollywood etiquette at major functions?

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hope in the Face of an American Holocaust

It's a couple months old, but I recently came across an incredibly powerful essay Kyle-Anne Shiverputs the evil of abortion in stark clarity and historical context. An exerpt: wrote on American Thinker, which
The whole problem with growing up and becoming intellectual is that we stop making the fundamental connections that children innately make.  We stop being able to see the threads of evil for what they really are.  We watch evil morph, change the colors or characteristics of its stripes, and we are fooled.  Again and again mankind is fooled into embracing evil's new form, even while decrying those who perpetrated evils past.


The child sees clearly the common threads.  The child can connect an evil father with an evil slaver.  The child can see that the evil which ensnared Anne Frank is the same evil that Martin is railing against.  The child discerns that a Jewish life is the same as a black life is the same as a white life is the same as a young life is the same as an old life.  The child could easily, with no prompting whatsoever, see a sonogram and tell you it's a baby.  The child does not dissemble and rationalize and wish for convenient ignorance. 


To paraphrase Martin, dehumanizing one human being dehumanizes every human being.  And dehumanizing leads inexorably to more and more dehumanizing.  The line between who is on the legal list of those who can be treated as property to be disposed of becomes more and more blurred.  Until doctors are killing live infants with scissors slammed into the backs of their tiny heads.  And intellectualized adults can try to explain the difference to a child who knows better.

And just in case that's too depressing, you should also check out Robert George's reflections on the life of Bernard Nathanson, the abortion pioneer who eventually reformed and became a pro-life hero. Nathanson's story should give us all hope that, if light can transform even the darkest hearts, it can also work on the bleakest times:
There are many lessons in Bernard Nathanson’s life for those of us who recognize the worth and dignity of all human lives and who seek to win hearts and change laws. Two in particular stand out for me.


First is the luminous power of truth. As I have written elsewhere, and as Nathanson’s own testimony confirms, the edifice of abortion is built on a foundation of lies. Nathanson told those lies; indeed, he helped to invent them. But others witnessed to truth. And when he was exposed to their bold, un-intimidated, self-sacrificial witness, the truth overcame the darkness in Nathanson’s heart and convicted him in the court of his own conscience.


Bernie and I became friends in the early 1990s, shortly after my own pro-life writings came to his attention. Once during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave at Princeton, I asked him: “When you were promoting abortion, you were willing to lie in what you regarded as a good cause. Now that you have been converted to the cause of life, would you be willing to lie to save babies? How do those who hear your speeches and read your books and articles know that you are not lying now?” It was, I confess, an impertinently phrased question, but also, I believe, an important one. He seemed a bit stunned by it, and after a moment said, very quietly, “No, I wouldn’t lie, even to save babies.” At the dinner he and I had with students afterward, he explained himself further: “You said that I was converted to the cause of life; and that’s true. But you must remember that I was converted to the cause of life only because I was converted to the cause of truth. That’s why I wouldn’t lie, even in a good cause.”


The second lesson is this: We in the pro-life movement have no enemies to destroy. Our weapons are chaste weapons of the spirit: truth and love. Our task is less to defeat our opponents than to win them to the cause of life. To be sure, we must oppose the culture and politics of death resolutely and with a determination to win. But there is no one—no one—whose heart is so hard that he or she cannot be won over. Let us not lose faith in the power of our weapons to transform even the most resolute abortion advocates. The most dedicated abortion supporters are potential allies in the cause of life. It is the loving, prayerful, self-sacrificing witness of Joan Bell Andrews and so many other dedicated pro-life activists that softens the hearts and changes the lives of people like Dr. Bernard Nathanson.


May he rest in peace.
The views expressed on this weblog are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of any other websites, blogs, campaigns, publications, or organizations where I have been employed and/or my work has been featured, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of any individuals employed by or otherwise affiliated with such groups.